home + garden
A PALO ALTO WEEKLY, MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE AND ALMANAC PUBLICATION
Inside this issue
Summer Home + Garden Design
Adding style, pizzaz to dated spaces Page 6
Updating a mid-century ‘modern’ | Page 15 Phasing in a remodel | Page 20
T H E H O M E TOW N N E W S PA P E R F O R M E N L O PA R K , AT H E R TO N , P O R TO L A VA L L E Y A N D WO O D S I D E
J U L Y 9 , 2 0 1 4 | VO L . 4 9 N O. 4 4
Ninety’ 1976 portraits taken by famous photographer Imogen Cunningham are recently rediscovered at Atherton retirement community SECTION 2
W W W. T H E A L M A N AC O N L I N E . C O M
ATHERTON New 3-level, 6bd/6ba + 3 half baths home by Pinnacle Group designed by Farro Essalat. Elevator, theatre, wine cellar, pool, spa, 2bd/1ba Guest house, two 2-car garages. 1.7+/-acres. Menlo Park schools.
LA HONDA Situated just 14 miles from Sandhill Road at Hwy 280, this custom 4bd/5.5ba estate is a hidden gem with all-encompassing views to the PaciďŹ c ocean. This 7200 +/- sf. main home features a 5-car garage, a 1470 +/- sf guest home on over 18 acres. Outdoor kitchen/cabana surround the sparkling pool and lush tropical gardens.
MENLO PARK Upscale and private contemporary 3bd/2.5ba home in the sought after Park Forest Community. Award-winning schools, close to Stanford and Menlo College. This home has it all.
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UP F RONT
Woodside halts work at mansion By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac
The site was posted with a stop-work notice from the town.
beige stone siding, installing roofs of gray slate, and adding oval windows in various locations. An upper-floor balcony would be enclosed under a slate dome. Those are the plans being implemented, Noel Manerud of the Mill Valley firm Van Acker Construction told the commission. The missing first floor reflects the need to strengthen the framing, as does the missing foundation, he said. Such insights came through â€œdiscoveryâ€? as the project advanced, Mr. Manerud said. The commission caught the project at a â€œmoment in time,â€? he said. â€œWe needed to temporarily remove that framing which was in place on the main level to ... restore it, augment it. ... Weâ€™re effectively caught midstream between that temporary removal and installation of shoring (to support the stone walls).â€? eR dsid Woo
360 Mountain Home Rd
Original plans called for replacing the white wooden siding on the main house with
d Mountain Home Rd
he top two floors of the three-story, 7,425-squarefoot mansion at 360 Mountain Home Road in Woodside are reported to be resting on steel beams above a large empty space where the foundation, basement and first floor used to be. Itâ€™s been an active construction site for months, but now its future, including the lowering of those upper floors onto new first-floor framing, is uncertain. As of July 3, the site was posted with a stop-work notice from the town. The Planning Commission had approved the project in November 2013 as a remodel. But, alerted by staff about the missing floors, the commission met on July 2 to discuss whether actions at the site were consistent with what had been approved. The mansion made news in November 2012 when it was sold for $117.5 million, a new U.S. record for a single-family home, according to news reports at the time. Staff reports list the owner of the 8.74-acre property as SV Projects LLC. After a lengthy public hearing that included testimony from construction managers, the commission voted 6-1 to continue the matter to a date uncertain and referred it to the planning director, who then issued the stop-work order. Commissioner Elizabeth Hobson dissented. Included in the vote was a recommendation to send the project back to the Architectural and Site Review Board, essentially back to square one. The remodel, according to some commissioners, had evolved into a demolition. Planning Director Jackie Young told the Almanac that the original resolution will be returning to the Planning Commission along with an â€œalternate resolution of denialâ€? based on the July 2 discussion.
The property is located on Mountain Home Road in Woodside.
â€œHow long was that moment that it took to decide to take out the first f loor?â€? Commission Chair Marilyn Voelke asked.â€?Was it long enough to call staff? That seems an inadequate description to me.â€? â€œItâ€™s a period of certainly a good long week preparing and a good long week doing it,â€? Mr. Manerud replied, adding that his team had been focused on the effort. As for the foundation and basement, structural engineer David Kallmeyer, in a June 9 letter to the town, explained: The mansion acquired more mass from the new stone siding and a second story heated from a radiant-heat floor, which uses concrete as thermal mass. â€œThe nature of the changes to the foundation system are significant enough that the project team deemed the most effective, safe, efficient and waterproof construction method for the project to be replacement of the foundation in lieu of localized augmentation (of the existing structure),â€? Mr. Kallmeyer wrote. Van Acker should have expected such changes, Ms. Voelke said. â€œI donâ€™t think itâ€™s credible. I think itâ€™s incredible.â€? After learning that the structural engineer been brought in after the plans were approved, Ms. Voelke had a question: â€œWhat was it that was brought See MANSION, page 7
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THE ALMANAC (ISSN 1097-3095 and USPS 459370) is published every Wednesday by Embarcadero Media, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 940256558. Periodicals Postage Paid at Menlo Park, CA and at additional mailing offices. Adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation for San Mateo County, The Almanac is delivered free to homes in Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside. Subscriptions for $60 per year or $100 per 2 years are welcome. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025-6558. Copyright ÂŠ2012 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
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Local News M
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Vintage fighting vehicles to be sold Jacques Littlefield’s collection goes on the auction block July 11 and July 12. ■
By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
or those with deep pockets and a deep hunger to own an authentic military fighting vehicle from World War II or the Cold War, there will be rich pickings on Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12, at 499 Old Spanish Trail at the far end of Los Trancos Road in unincorporated Los Trancos Woods. In an auction that is closed to the public, 114 vehicles are going up for sale from the collection of the late Jacques Littlefield, who collected, restored and preserved armored vehicles and weapons. Among items on the auction block: a Soviet SCUD mobile missile launcher, with an estimated sale price of $300,000 to $350,000. The public will get its chance to see the fighting vehicles after they have been loaded onto trucks (for transport to a staging area, likely in the East Bay). The trucks will use public roads and the cargoes will not be covered, said Bill Boller, president and chief executive of the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation.
The foundation’s schedule anticipates an average of about six transports a day in “a continuous stream for six weeks,” Mr. Boller said. The foundation has been in touch with local homeowners’ associations, he said. Mr. Littlefield, who died in 2009, was the founder of the nonprofit that is selling the fighting vehicles. The gates open at 9 a.m. and the auction begins at 11. Daylong previews are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, July 9 and 10. Weapons sale
The auctions are being run by Indiana-based vehicle auction specialists Auctions America. Two auctions are scheduled: of the vehicles on Friday and Saturday, and of spare parts on Friday only. A 220-page, four-color catalog was produced for the auctions. Among the items (with estimated sales prices) for the main event are: ■ A U.S. M4A3E2 assault tank, also known as a Sherman “Jumbo” ($1.4 million to $1.6 million). One of seven or eight still in existence, this tank
Former assemblyman Ira Ruskin dies at 70 Services will be held Wednesday, July 9, for former state assemblyman Ira Ruskin, who represented the 21st Assembly District for six years. He died July 3 at the age of 70. The services will start at 10 a.m. at Temple Beth Jacob, 1550 Alameda de las Pulgas in Redwood City. A graveside service will follow at Alta Mesa Cemetery, 695 Arastradero Road in Palo Alto. Go to tinyurl.com/Ruskin714 for updates. The Assembly district he represented stretched from the Almaden Valley in Santa Clara County to San Carlos in San Mateo County, and included Atherton, Menlo Park, Portola Valley and Woodside. The Democrat from Redwood City told his supporters in a May 2011 email that he had undergone emergency surgery for a
malignant brain tumor earlier that month and that he was preparing to undergo “aggressive t r e a t m e n t ,” including radiaIra Ruskin tion and chemotherapy. He said at the time that his doctors told him the tumor, while not curable, was containable. The illness halted his bid for a state Senate seat. Mr. Ruskin served nine years as a city councilman in Redwood City, starting in 1995, and was mayor from 1999 through 2001. He was elected to the state Assembly in 2004, when he defeated Republican Steve Poizner to succeed Joe Simitian. He was re-elected twice to
Photo courtesy Auctions America
A Soviet SCUD mobile missile launcher, with an estimated price range of $300,000 to $350,000, is among 114 military vehicles up for auction from the Jacques Littlefield collection.
was intended for use after the 1944 invasion of Normandy. The tracks are rubber and the driving controls and hatches operate normally. The interior restoration is incomplete, but the needed parts come with the purchase.
■ A U.S. M37 105-millimeter howitzer ($200,000 to $250,000). Built in 1945 and completely restored, this mobile gun has rubber tracks, exterior lights, working hatches, working periscopes with “good glass,” and a complete instrument
panel. It was last driven in January 2014. ■ A U.S. M16 anti-aircraft half-track ($75,000 to $100,000). Built in 1943 or 1944, the engine runs well and “responds nicely See VINTAGE FIGHTING, page 10
Fire board looks for new site for station By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer
even years in the planning, the redevelopment of Fire Station 6 on two lots at Oak Grove Avenue and Hoover Street in Menlo Park may now be abandoned by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Citing a protracted planning process and the city’s refusal to expedite the permits before a possible specific plan-altering ballot initiative could take effect, the fire board directors voted 3-0-1 on June 30 to look elsewhere for a site to construct a new fire station downtown. Board member Charles Bernstein was absent and Virginia Chang Kiraly abstained, saying she wanted the full board present to discuss alternatives.
“After 7 years of working to replace Station 6 we have gotten nowhere while in half that time we will have built a brand new and dramatically better station in East Palo Alto with
Directors opt not to pursue remodel of Station 6 in current location in downtown Menlo Park. the full support and assistance of the City of East Palo Alto,” director Peter Carpenter said in an email after the vote. “After a full discussion the Fire Board voted ... to make no further expenditures for the replacement of Station 6 at the Oak Grove site and to consider alternative sites which will
allow us to fulfill our obligation to serve the downtown area,” Mr. Carpenter said. The parcels that were slated for a renovated station straddle the boundary of the specific plan, with 700 Oak Grove on the inside and 1231 Hoover St. outside. The fire board discussed three options: Proceed as planned despite the potential complications; eliminate the lot merger and process the project as two developments on two lots; and find a new replacement site entirely outside the specific plan’s boundaries. At issue is whether the initiative proposed by grassroots coalition Save Menlo would require a city-wide vote to change the boundaries of the specific plan to incorporate See FIRE BOARD, page 10
See RUSKIN, page 6
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